Get a Taste of the New Food and Drinks at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites

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What’s the one thing you look forward to on vacation? Is it thrills and adventure? Maybe trying something new, or spending time with family you haven’t seen in awhile? For me lately, it’s relaxation. A way to slow down from the everyday routine, not worry about the usual stresses of life, and just savor every moment spent with my family.

This is the essence of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites. Dockside Inn and Suites invites you to kick back, relax, and take it easy during your vacation at Universal Orlando Resort. This hotel, alongside Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, brings a new value option to Universal Orlando. It’s the perfect place for families wanting to stay connected to the action of Universal’s three theme parks, while enjoying the comfort and ease of a resort that meets their vacation budget. Dockside Inn and Suites’ coastal vibes make you feel as if you’re just feet away from the ocean, which extends into your dining experience with the all-American Pier 8 Market, Sunset Lounge, and The Oasis Beach Bar.

I spent a lovely Tuesday morning learning about
and trying the new food and drinks from Dockside Inn and Suites with Phil
Klinkenberg, director of food and beverage for Dockside Inn and Suites. Phil
led the creation and execution of Dockside’s dining in collaboration with the
chefs and managers of the new resort. Here’s what he shared with me and what
you can look forward to during your upcoming stay.

Breakfast

Kick start your morning before a day in Universal’s theme parks with breakfast from Pier 8 Market. You can enjoy a lighter option like fresh baked goods prepared daily, or indulge in a heartier meal like chicken and waffles.

Top Picks

  • Chicken and Waffles (served with
    maple syrup and butter)
  • Pier 8 Egg Muffin (bacon, egg,
    cheddar, onions, peppers and a side of hash browns)
  • Baja Burrito (chorizo, egg and cheese
    with salsa)

My Favorite: Avocado Toast – crushed avocados, pico de gallo, vegan cheese, walnuts, and raisin vegan toast. It’s so good and Phil surprised me with the fact that it’s all vegan, including the cheese.

“With all Universal Orlando hotels, we
accommodate guests’ dietary needs,” says Phil. “We pride ourselves on being
able to customize and provide options like our Beyond Burger and this vegan
avocado toast.”

Lunch

Take a break from the pool and fuel up with refreshing options at Pier 8 Market (or grab your food and head back for a poolside meal!). One of the great perks about Pier 8 Market is that it’s themed to be an open-air market with easy-to-grab items, similar to what you would find down by the docks of a coastal town.

“Pier 8 Market is meant to feel like an actual
market where you walk through the various food stalls and are able to select
the items for your meal,” says Phil. “Whether it be our chicken and waffles,
pizza or a burger, it’s all meant to be self-serve, grab and go.”

Top Picks

  • Hook & Batter (fish and chips)
  • Garden Pizza (you guessed it, a
    veggie pizza!)
  • Gulf to Shore (grilled market fish
    on a toasted bun)

My Favorite: The Dockworker Wrap – pastrami with swiss cheese, coleslaw and french fries. Not only is it delicious, but there’s a fun story behind the inspiration for the wrap that Phil told me.

“Our Dockworker Wrap is inspired by a dish that
dockworkers actually put together,” Phil says. “They get a deli sandwich, a
side of fries, and a drink. They would take the fries and put it directly on
their sandwich to hold with one hand, and then the drink in the other hand, so
they could eat and drink easily during their lunch break. We took that concept
and made our Dockworker Wrap.”

Dinner

There’s no better way to end the day during a vacation than coming together as a family and having dinner. There are great options for families at Pier 8 Market with a variety of dishes that any member of the family can enjoy, as well as meals that meet bigger family needs like pizza.

Top Picks

  • BBQCB (burger with smoked bacon,
    cheddar, onion rings and bourbon bbq sauce)
  • The Joey Sandwich (hoagie with
    salami, capicola, soppressata, provolone cheese, roasted red pepper and
    toppings)
  • Stuffed Shells (I recommend a side
    of Deck Hand Garlic Knots too!)

My Favorite: Chicken and Waffles – 8 piece bucket of chicken, side of mashed potatoes, side of coleslaw, Belgian waffles and choice of sauce. And let me tell you, the sauce choices are on point with the Sloping Sticky Sauce (bourbon bacon maple sauce), Rocket Man (spicy bbq), and Southern Hot (buffalo with a hint of honey).

“Dockside Inn and Suites is a family
destination,” says Phil. “So, what the market does is provide something for
everybody. In each of the areas in our market we’ll have options for the
younger guests in our hotel. So, mom and dad can have what they want and kids
can have what they want.”

Dessert

A meal isn’t complete without a sweet ending. Each food station in Pier 8 Market will have a signature dessert, as well as a variety of other classic treats you can grab. There will also be yogurt and smoothie machines that are perfect for those hot summer days.

Top Picks

  • Key Lime Pie (a Florida classic)
  • Cinnamon & Sugar Zeppoles (an
    italian treat consisting of fried fritter)

My Favorite: S’mores – hot off the panini press with all the fixings, ginger-flavored bread with milk chocolate, and marshmallow. It’s ooey and gooey, perfect for the kids to split or the ‘big’ kids like me. I could’ve eaten a whole one myself!

Drinks

Now, onto a really fun part of Dockside Inn and Suites — the signature drinks.

“The Sunset Lounge is going to be a fantastic
little area for you to break away after a day in the theme parks,” says Phil.
“We also have The Oasis Beach Bar. Both are a place for people to just kick
back, relax, and have an excellently crafted cocktail or a craft beer.”

I found the theming of the drinks to be just as
fun as the cocktails themselves. Phil let me know that some of them are even
named after slides you may recognize from a certain water park that used to be
where Endless Summer Resort is now…

“The drinks at the Oasis Beach pool bar are named
after the Wet n’ Wild rides like the Bubba Tub and the Mach Five,” he says. “We
had a great time putting it together. We actually wrote the drink names before
we came up with what the drinks would be.”

You’ll find cocktails themed to the hotel, as well as a craft beer that will be brewed for the resort.

Top Picks

  • Endless Summer Lemonade (vodka
    with lemon; this is the resort’s signature cocktail)
  • Sunset Blonde (mango blonde ale;
    this is the resort’s craft beer)
  • Red Sky at Night (Tequila cocktail
    with orange and lime flavors)
  • Drop Anchor (rum drink with orgeat
    and matcha)
  • Shore Thing (grapefruit vodka with
    lime and ginger beer)
  • Bubba Tub (signature 32oz Dockside
    bucket that all cocktails from The Oasis Beach Bar can be upgraded to)

My
Favorite:
Disco H20 – I’ve been known to have a bit of
a sweet tooth, especially when it comes to drinks. Disco H20 not only tastes
great but the candy tube makes it double the fun!

Deep Dive
Into the Inspiration

There was a common thread I picked up on while chatting with Phil about the Dockside Inn and Suites dining experience: casual comfort. From the ease of selecting your food to the focus on comfort food options, the overall concept is to give a relaxing environment and experience for your family during your vacation.

“I’ve always said we offer people a vacation from
the vacation that they’re on, so when they come back to their hotel they’re
home,” says Phil. “I think Dockside Inn and Suites will give you that feeling
of pure relaxation, no worries and no cares.”

So, what goes into developing the food and drinks
for a new hotel? Phil walked me through it.

“It really started with the original concept,” he
explains. “Universal Creative and Loews Hotels partnered and came up with the
idea for Endless Summer Resort. At the very beginning it was decided that Pier
8 Market was going to happen at Dockside Inn and Suites.”

They knew they were going to have family-friendly
options like pizza and burgers, but there was brainstorming along the way on
how to add some unique twists.

“When I came on board, I just wrote down my wish
list and what I thought would be fun,” says Phil. “Brainstorming is next with
the managing director and chefs, brainstorming with other people that were
inspired by talking to friends or reading other venue menus. Inspiration comes
from so many different places. Some of it’s memory, some of it’s sensory. So,
we take all of those ideas and kind of do a mashup of them. It’s all about
collaboration.”

With Dockside Inn and Suites being his third hotel opening with Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando Resort, he is eager for guests to experience all the hotel will offer.

“You know what keeps me going is that experience you have when you bump into a guest in a hallway, or in the restaurant, and you have a conversation with them and realize the things your team did, or that you did personally, made a difference,” he says. “It’s hard to describe that feeling, but when you have it, you know it, and it’s a great feeling.”

Click here to get more details about Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites, opening on March 17.

The post Get a Taste of the New Food and Drinks at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites appeared first on Discover Universal.

This content was originally published on on the official Universal Orlando Resort BlogThe Kingdom Insider takes no responsibility for errors in syndicated content.


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